The 'Bitcoin wallet for the streets' deserves every bit of that marketing slogan.
On January 21st, Samourai Wallet released an update that makes an important step towards the fungibility of Bitcoin as a payment vehicle.
When we consider the potential of cryptocurrencies to be used as money, Bitcoin has the undisputed advantage of adoption: Everyone knows what Bitcoin is, it has been used in peer-to-peer transactions for years, there are relatively easy ways to store it.
By now, Bitcoin as a payment method has somewhat solidified by sticking around for so long.
One of the disadvantages though is the fact that Bitcoin’s blockchain is public. In many corners of the cryptocurrency community, this is even the main reason for Monero’s existence.
Nonetheless, there is the opposing argument as well - You only need stealth privacy quite rarely. And so, do we really need a separate crypto-money just for these rare cases? A separate blockchain for stealth transactions?
This article cannot provide an answer to that question - in time, the market will decide.
If you subscribe to the philosophy that it is not feasible to hold multiple cryptocurrencies for different uses, you will most likely benefit from what Samourai Wallet has been working on.
Samourai Wallet really deserves to call itself “the bitcoin wallet for the streets”. The first version of Samourai wallet came to existence during the bear market of 2015 already with the intention to offer some built-in transaction anonymizing function; ever since this angle kept only improving.
The new “Staggered Ricochet” is an extension of an existing premium option for BTC transactions called simply “Ricochet”. Ricochet is not a mixing function, but it helps to increase your plausible deniability by adding hops into your transaction - the principle is similar to relay hops used by Tor, the anonymous deep web browser.
Ricochet makes your transaction somewhat slower and somewhat more expensive, because you are inserting extra transactions between your starting address and the destination address.
Staggered Ricochet is a take on some advanced issues that are emerging as blockchain transaction analytics becomes more advanced. This update improves Ricochet by making its tell-tale patterns less recognizable: Staggered Ricochet makes sure each hop-transaction gets mined in a different block and also, each hop-transaction will only first be exposed to the mempool when it is just ready to be broadcast.
Explanation from Samourai Wallet’s blog:
One of the clever ways of fingerprinting transactions that blockchain spies have been known to use is monitoring the mempool and using associated metadata including time first broadcast to assist in their address clustering heuristics. To help break that method Staggered Ricochet transactions will not be exposed to the public mempool until they are ready to be broadcast.
Cost and Time
On the expense side, Samourai Wallet with the Staggered Ricochet option is a good fit for the philosophy of using stealth privacy only once in a while: As with simple Ricochet, you are paying extra fees for the hops, and additionally, a Staggered Ricochet transaction will potentially take up to a few hours to confirm because of the block restriction. You do not want to use it every time, and you don’t want to buy your coffee this way.
For the cases where you want privacy though, I would argue that state-of-the-art enhancements like the Staggered Ricochet can even be a safer option than using a private cryptocurrency: You are adding extra hops to a very busy public blockchain in a manner that cannot be easily detected.
If you choose to pay with a cryptocurrency known for its focus on anonymous transations, by doing so you are advertising that this particular transation really needs to stay hidden. All it takes is a vulnerability that breaks that ledger’s anonymity - which by all means can happen.
Samourai Wallet is available for free at samouraiwallet.com/download.
As for smartphones, the app is currently only available for Android. If you are a slightly more advanced user, you can run the Android app on your computer via VirtualBox - a how-to guide here.
BitMEX (10% fee off) @ bit.ly/melancholic-100x
TradingView (~ 50% off in BTC) @ bit.ly/tradingview-moon
Conbase (no offer but you still click this lol) @ bit.ly/plebtier
EthFinex (NEC token rebates for MM) @ bit.ly/ethfinex
TensorCharts @ bit.ly/tensor-charts
Upcoming and current airdrops February 2019
|Name||Date||How to access||Official URL||Additional Info|
|Cryptomillions $CPMS Airdrop||Capped||New crypto airdrop, simple social tasks will get you $8 worth of tokens that will be directly tradable.||join||web|
|COSS Exchange Valentine's Day Airdrop||14 Feb 2019 00:00 GMT+8 - 23:59 GMT+8||This is a special event from the crypto exchange COSS: On Feb 14 only you receive an airdrop of 25 CFT if you make one deposit and trade any cryptocurrency to qualify.||join||more|
|Valentine's Day at CryptoFlower game||14 Feb 2019||This is a special event from the dApp game CryptoFlowers: On Feb 14 only you can grow flowers with special pot and AR flying hearts. These flowers will be rare and can be sold later.||sign up||web|
|Genes Token Airdrop (ERC20)||As available||A tokenized project for genome storage service on the blockchain. You get 5 GENES for commenting on Bitcointalk.||join||web|
|Synchrotron / $STC Airdrop #9||30 weeks of airdrops (Airdrop #9 starts 11 February 2019)||Hybrid PoW/PoS payment cryptocurrency. The team drops 72% of supply (18 MM coins) during 30 weeks of airdrop campaign; there is additional budget for bounties. The bounties are announced on discord server. Each airdrop round runs from Monday 10AM UTC to Friday 10PM UTC. Validation runs weekends and distribution Mondays. You need to download a $STC wallet.||drop rules in this thread||info|
|DSTRA / $DST Airdrop #21||Biweekly, drop #21 runs from 11 Feb 2019||DSTRA is PoS Scrypt Masternode coin with limited supply that will be used in DEX environment and marketplaces. There are airdrops every two weeks, users need to register via discord. Regular payouts verified.||discord||rules|
|Agri Novus Bounty||As available||New blockchain-based project for organic supplies providers and customers. The team will pay out bounties for social media work.||more|
|Tratok Airdrop||February - March 2019||Tratok stands for Travel Token, it is a token of an application to make bookings for travel and hospitality. Follow the Tratok Project on their social media platforms and get 1000 TRAT for each approved action. Tokens distribute 20th March 2019.||join|
|LATOKEN Invite-Only $LA Airdrop||Capped||LATOKEN drops their exchange LA tokens to invited users who verify their e-mail address. LA is a token of a fintech project aiming to setup a distributed trading ecosystem. If you contribute with bounty work you can earn up to 3,140 LA. The token trades actively on the exchange against several cryptocurrencies.||join||web|
|HubrisOne Airdrop Round #5||Weekly (16 weeks of airdrops, each weekly round starts on Tue)||HubrisOne is a financial service that offers personal and business crypto-friendly bank accounts. There is a massive bounty campaign with weekly payouts. The work ranges from social media engagement or Bitcointalk signature to content creation, all must be properly reported. New round starts every Tuesday.||join||web|
|IoT Classic Airdrop (ERC20)||As available||IoT Classic is a decentralized supply chain tracking platform for the internet of things. The developers have background in the supply chain industry and are working on a cloud-based software solution that will make IoT supply chain tracking easy and scalable. The team drops 1,800,000 IOTCL tokens in total for social media follows.||join||web|
|Endpass Testers' Bounty Campaign||As available||Endpass is a new ERC20 wallet that is looking for testers. Everyone who downloads the app and signs up via Bitcointalk and Google form receives 0.1 ETH if they provide constructive feedback, the reward for every reported bug is 0.1 ETH as well. Additionally, there is a Bitcointalk signature campaign.||join||bitcointalk|
|Isibeli / $BEL Airdrop||Capped||New crypto for fast payments. Drops 200 BEL to the first 5000 members who complete simple social media tasks. There is a dubiously big giveaway on the homepage too, be vigilant with this one, don't use your main e-mail to sign up.||join||web|
|PMTC Airdrop||Ends 1 March 2019||A new cryptocurrency written from scratch using PHP, Python and MySQL. Its purpose is a betting system built into blockchain, it currently lives on testnet that needs to be tested. Therefore after signup you'll receive some testnet tokens. You will need to use them on the platform in order to climb in the airdrop ranking to later receive the real tokens.||join||info|
|CoinIMP Airdrop||Capped||CoinIMP is a Monero and Webchain CryptoNight JS web miner that claims to be getting around anti-viruses and adblockers. They are currently in a token sale for a utility token IMP that should be used for payments via the CPM advertising model. A total of 25 million IMP tokens will be distributed among users in an airdrop. You get 500 IMP for a set of social actions: You'll need to sign up, head to the "Buy" section and scroll all the way down.||join||web|
|Cargo Coin Bounty||Weekly||Cargo Coin, a token for transport & logistics with an ICO past the soft cap by now, is having a weekly extensive bounty. It spans from simple retweets to YouTube reviews - make your bounty hunter account and pick your poison.||join||info|
|AllForCrypto (WAVES)||Ends March 2019||A WAVES project for eBay-style marketplace on the blockchain. Drops $20 worth of AFCT, plus they have updated their bounty campaign.||join drop||bounty|